WelCom April 2020:
The Wellington Archdiocesan Commission for Ecology, Justice and Peace, told the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on 12 February, that raising benefit levels is essential if the Government wishes to achieve its Budget goals to address child poverty and enhance child wellbeing.
‘Benefit levels are so low it is impossible to live on them,’ EJP Commission Poverty Committee member Mary Margaret Schuck told the select committee considering the 2020 Budget Policy Statement.
The EJP Commission supports the overall Budget goals to address child poverty, ensure a just transition to a low-emissions economy, lift Māori and Pasifika incomes, and improve physical and mental wellbeing. However, the Government must implement the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations to lift benefit levels, the EJP Commission said.
The Commission told the Select Committee that as well as the permanent financial insecurity that low benefit levels cause for beneficiaries, it is an ineffective and inefficient use of managing social welfare assistance intended to help the most vulnerable. A great deal of public and community time is used support people to get assistance at the margins, the Commission said.